Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences
Tohoku University


Hiroyuki Uechi

Assistant ProfessorLife and Environmentse

Mentor Information
Erina Kuranaga (Graduate School of Life Science)
Research Fields Cell Biology; Developmental Biology; Condensate Biology.
Research Subjects
  • Biochemical and physical-chemical principles of cell–cell adhesion machineries building multicellular morphogenesis
Academic Society Membership The Japanese Biochemical Society; Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists
Research Outline  

Multicellular systems, such as tissue morphogenesis, are built by coordinated dynamics of the constituting cell collectives. A key question is what and how behaviors of cells and biomolecules emerge and then generate such multicellular collective properties.

This project especially focuses on cell–cell adhesion proteins, which are central for multicellular systems. They show dynamic properties in cells as collections of molecules and contribute to not only cellular integrity but also polarity and motility, which all underpin multicellular dynamics. Accumulating evidences now indicate that intracellular dynamics of biomolecules are governed by physical-chemical processes, such as phase separation or condensation. Here leveraging my research background (molecular biology and biochemistry in the Murata lab, cell biology and genetics in the Kuranaga lab, and “condensate biology” in the Hyman lab), I aim to understand physical-chemical principles that underlie functional dynamics of adhesion molecules and organize multicellular dynamics.

To this end, I use biochemistry and genetics with idea of physical-chemistry (thermodynamics). I (i) reconstitute assembly and dynamics of adhesion molecules/complexes in vitro, especially those I have found forming condensates, and (ii) perform microscopic analyses of Drosophila tissue morphogenesis to unveil physical-chemical properties underpinning molecular and multicellular behaviors in vivo. With deploying interdisciplinary analyses and discussions, I try to discern multicellular morphogenesis across scales from molecules, cells, to tissues.


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